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“Valentines at The Boat House”

The Boat House Cafe Bar
Ranked #171 of 270 Restaurants in Salisbury
Cuisines: British
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Level Contributor
25 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Valentines at The Boat House”
Reviewed February 15, 2013

Having read the reviews on Tripadvisor for this restaurant, I'll be honest in saying that I wasn't expecting much. Having left it a touch too late to book dinner for my wife and I (on Valentines night no less) I couldn't be too choosey and booked us in. On arrival, it was quiet, we were the only guest there, but... The look of the place is very good; modern lines giving an airy and spacious feel and clearly a place to be in the summer months where you can imagine the large bay doors being opened out giving exceptional views over the river. We were greeted with a glass of Prosecco which we were left to enjoy whilst going over the menu. The food seemed very reasonable if not too adventurous or novel. I went for a chicken, bacon and port pate to start which had a deep and rich flavour alongside a smooth texture; too often coarse pate seems to be served elsewhere as an excuse to leave large parts of gristle to be caught in the teeth! My wife opted for the tempura prawns with a chilli jam; the jam just the right side of bite from the chilli and the prawns delivered in shells making it a starter one could really get hands on with. For mains, my wife had the lamb with an exceptional dauphinoise potato alongside braised root vegetables and a rosemary demi glace. The lamb itself was very well cooked, slightly pink and still tender with a really strong lamb flavour without the layer of fat often found. I played safe and went for the sirloin steak with chunky chips and sauted spinach. Perhaps a little too much pepper through the spinach and on the steak for my taste but certainly not overpower. Besides, the steak was also extermely well cooked; I like it rare, and came with a delightful whiskey and peppercorn sauce, the flavour of which took me right back to a Burns Night supper that I once attended in Edinburgh. To finish, we both opted for the tequila and lime cheesecake which looked fantastic on the plate and had contrasting tastes which set it apart from other cheesecakes we've had in the past. Topped with a layer of lime and tequila flavoured jelly, the filling was smooth, creamy and with hint of cheese atop a lovely, crunchy and sweet biscuit base. Throughout dinner, we were served well by a small but well appointed wine list providing well balanced tipples at a very reasonable price. All in, a fantastic surprise given some of the reviews seen on this site. Definatley worth another visit and one that I will look check back in with come the end of spring.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank YofSShaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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191 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Nice location”
Reviewed February 12, 2013

...and friendly staff. The food was a bit hit and miss.
This place is far better since it was reopened.

Visited November 2012
Thank N T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
34 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Top knotch brasserie food and no skimping on the portions!”
Reviewed February 6, 2013 via mobile

My partner and I had an excellent dinner last night at the Boathouse. We went in for the 3 tapas and a bottle of wine for £15 deal, not intending to have a full meal; but the quality of the tapas was so good (real flavour and generous portions of meat - not the normal few olives in a bowl that you often get) and the wine was a rather good Rioja, that we stayed to try the two course dinner for £10 before 9pm. Again, the quality of the cooking was excellent and the portions were again generous- there was no sense of being fobbed off with a skimpy second best that such deals can often give. I will be returning very soon for their moules, which were cooked in a lovely crab sauce.
Unlike the previous reviewer, I found the decor and ambience very pleasant, in a modern brasserie type way, and the seating is properly spaced so that you are not bumping elbows with other diners, with very comfortable seats and good sized tables. It is a shame that the upstairs dining room is now open only for functions - but you can't blame the owners for making a sensible business decision. Really looking forward to the summer so I can enjoy their lovely food on the nice terrace.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Beansbell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ciprian c, Manager at The Boat House Cafe Bar, responded to this review, March 22, 2013
Hi Karen
My name is Ciprian and I am the new manager at The Boathouse.I am very sorry to hear about your bad experience with our venue and would like to invite you for a free dinner for two.I have recently joined the venue and I hope my hard work and dedication will change the things to better .Please contact us to book the table.Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
46 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Good food but!”
Reviewed January 5, 2013

We had our Christmas party here on 21st December, 14 of us in total. I was the first of our party to arrive and was shown to our table. Once seated I realised that there was going to be a problem for the rest of the females in our group, to sit at the table. Problem being that 3 tables had been pushed together, and the tables legs when pushed together were about 8inches wide. I mentioned this (to I believe the head waiter) and was fobbed off with the reply " that they had had lots of parties and no-one else had complained". With that remark he promptly pulled out a chair and sat down (about 2feet away from the table), and told me that that was the way it was done. I tried again to explain that it was not suitable for females in dresses to sit as if sitting on a horse. He left, muttering that all was fine. My colleagues arrived, and were also shocked as to how they were expected to sit for the next few hours.
The food was very good and the waiting staff very efficient - for which I thanked them. as their leader was not so good.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank julios
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salisbury, United Kingdom
1 review
“Looking for Something Special”
Reviewed December 30, 2012

The Boathouse was recommended by a dear freind explaining the differences between the upstairs and downstairs restaurants. We thought the upstairs sounded perfect for an after christmas relaxing lunch just the two of us after the hussle and bussle of a large family christmas.
We paid for parking very close to the Boathouse really convenient and our expectations were high. Well, we could not have got it more wrong. Right from the start walking through the front door I could sense this was not the place for us. However, we did take a seat and looked at the menu and were told that three of the main courses were not available and no substitutes were offered. We asked about the upstairs restaurant and were told that it was closed and that the owners didn't know what to do with it. In a nutshell the posh bit upstairs was closed, only half the main courses were available downstairs which felt like a 70's wimpy bar. Not what I was expecting after a recommendation from a freind. I first read about the Boathouse in Salisbury Life mag sometime ago and thought at last we have something good in Salisbury. What is the point in a journalist from Salisbury Life writing a review about a restaurant that is so new hyping it up to a point and the restaurant resembles nothing like the article that has been printed? I can't comment on the food at the Boathouse as we didn't stay to eat. When will Salisbury get something right? Let's hope Crane's wine bar will go some way to helping Salisbury get the upmarket food and service it so deperately lacks.

Visited December 2012
Thank 2912SIR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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